The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 219

therefore the column aforesaid must be in a denser state
than its neighbouring air.

About the velocity of the electric fire more is said below, which
perhaps may more fully obviate this objection. But let us have
recourse to experiments. Experiments will obviate all objections,
or confound the hypothesis. The electric spark, if the foregoing be
true, will pass through a vacuum in a right line. To try this, let a
wire be fixed perpendicularly on the plate of an air pump, having a
leaden ball on its upper end; let another wire, passing through the
top of a receiver, have on each end a leaden ball; let the leaden
balls within the receiver, when put on the air pump, be within two
or three inches of each other: the receiver being exhausted, the
spark given from a charged phial to the upper wire will pass through
rarefied air, nearly approaching to a vacuum, to the lower wire, and
I suppose in a right line, or nearly so; the small portion of air
remaining in the receiver, which cannot be entirely exhausted, may
possibly cause it to deviate a little, but perhaps not sensibly,
from a right line. The spark also might be made to pass through air
greatly condensed, which perhaps would give a still more crooked
direction. I have not had opportunity to make any experiments of this
sort, not knowing of an air-pump nearer than Cambridge, but you can
easily make them. If these experiments answer, I think the crooked
direction of lightning will be also accounted for.

With respect to your letters on electricity, * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * *. Your hypothesis in particular for explaining the phenomena
of lightning is very ingenious. That some clouds are highly charged
with electrical fire, and that their communicating it to those that
have less, to mountains and other eminencies, makes it visible and
audible, when it is denominated lightning and thunder, is highly
probable: but that the sea, which you suppose the grand source of
it, can collect it, I think admits of a doubt: for though the sea be
composed of salt and water, an electric _per se_ and non-electric,
and though the friction of electrics _per se_ and non-electrics,
will collect that fire, yet it is only under certain circumstances,
which water will not admit. For it seems necessary, that the
electrics _per se_ and non-electrics rubbing one another, should
be of such substances as will not adhere to, or incorporate with
each other. Thus a glass or sulphur sphere turned in water, and

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 4
" 317 Account of governor Hutchinson's letters 322 Rules for reducing a great empire to a small one, presented to a late minister, when he entered upon his administration 334 State of America on Dr.
Page 19
_ The speaker should be presented for approbation; it being convenient, to prevent misunderstandings and disgusts, that the mouth of the council should be a person agreeable, if possible, both to the council and president general.
Page 23
_ To prevent misapplication of the money, or even application that might be dissatisfactory to the crown or the people, it was thought necessary, to join the president general and grand council in all issues of money.
Page 26
[since Governor] Hutchinson was one of the commissioners for Massachusetts Bay.
Page 28
[9] This plan of union, it will appear from the next page, was rejected; and another proposed to be substituted by the English minister, which had for its chief object, the taking power from the _people_ in the colonies in order to give it to the _crown_.
Page 43
Nevertheless the proprietaries of this province, in contempt of the said royal grant, proprietary charter, and law of their colony, designing to subvert the fundamentals of this constitution, to deprive the assembly and people of their rights and privileges, and to assume an arbitrary and tyrannical power over the liberties and properties of his majesty's liege subjects, have so restrained their governors by the _despotic instructions_ (which are not to be varied from, and are particularly directory in the framing and passing of money-bills and supplies.
Page 46
_ 0_s.
Page 50
Those who were only ambitious of repose found it here; and as none returned with an evil report of the land, numbers followed: all partook of the leaven they found: the community still wore the same equal face: nobody aspired: nobody was oppressed: industry was sure of profit, knowledge of esteem, and virtue of veneration.
Page 65
If the necessity of our affairs should oblige us to accept of terms less advantageous than our present successes seem to promise us; an intelligent people, as ours is, must see that necessity, and will acquiesce.
Page 74
prevent the importation of the same kind from abroad, and to bear the expence of its own exportation.
Page 93
Nor is it nearly so well situated for that of the rest of the Spanish Main as Jamaica.
Page 131
They therefore, after a thorough debate, and making no less than twenty-five unanimous resolves, expressing the many grievances this province had long laboured under, through the proprietary government, came to the following resolution, viz.
Page 136
* * * * * What then avails it to the honour of the present proprietors, that our founder and their father gave us privileges, if they, the sons, will not permit the use of them, or forcibly rend them from us? David may have been a man after God's own heart, and Solomon the wisest of proprietors and governors; but if Rehoboam will be a tyrant and a ----,.
Page 150
They hoped therefore to spare him all those mortifications, and thereby secure a greater portion of his favour.
Page 180
This occasioned a good deal of conversation on the subject; and the general opinion was, that the parliament neither would nor could lay any tax on us, till we were duly represented in parliament; because it was not just, nor agreeable to the nature of an English constitution.
Page 214
22, 1700.
Page 279
in case of failure by the master in any point of performance.
Page 358
This, I believe, will be the case, if you have timely notice.
Page 366
I must agree with you, that the gout is bad, and that the stone is worse.
Page 367
Like the proud girl in my country, who wished and resolved not to marry a parson, nor a presbyterian, nor an Irishman, and at length found herself married to an Irish presbyterian parson! You see I have some reason to wish that in a future state I may not only be _as well as I was_, but a little better.